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How does one design a memorial for an ongoing circumstance?
We sought to question the paradigm of what a memorial really is. Our response was having the memorial itself work as an active reminder that the way to bring about change is through the individual. We want to memorialize the deceased by utilizing their passing as a catalyst to bring about this change.
Our memorial serves as a symbol of the past, present, and future. The past is represented by memorializing our loved ones. The present is represented by reflectivity, through which the individual experiences introspection. The future is represented by the individual themselves, actively changing their behavior for the betterment of their community and the world.
The past is indicated in the memorial through the use of a concrete obelisk fit to the proportions of human scale. The concrete block is engraved with the names of the lost members of the community, cementing their memory. The present is represented by the mirror, a symbol of reflection and introspection. It reflects everything happening at that moment. It reflects the community it is set in. Above all, the individual must face themselves while confronting the reality of the pandemic. As one reads the names of the deceased, the mirror serves as an active reminder of their own mortality. The future is represented by the responsibility for change that the individual carries after experiencing the memorial. Our hope is that the design will act as a beacon for change for all that visit.
Each individual obelisk is set on a six-foot point grid. This was done not only to work with social distancing requirements of the present times, but also once guidelines are lifted in the future, to serve as a reminder for the reality we once faced. The six-foot point grid is completed when an individual steps on the center stone and is faced with an obelisk in each of the cardinal directions.
We understood the requirements to make the memorial feasible and took the active steps to use humble and easily sourced materials such as concrete, mirrors, and metal. We can envision this becoming a community project, where the members of the community themselves come together to recreate the design. Each concrete stone is fitted with a cavity allowing members of the community to donate funding for ongoing coronavirus relief efforts. This gives the community multiple opportunities to actively contribute.
Designing a memorial for an active circumstance was no easy task, but through memorialization we hope to inspire change by empowering the individual. A singular moment can have a lasting impact. Our memorial creates a respect for the past, a conscious present, and hope for the future.
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